WHAT IS TANNIC ACID?
Tannic acid is a phenolic acid and phytonutrient (a group of chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants and have multiple health benefits but are not considered essential to human health). The value of tannic acid is often debated in health circles as it can sometimes be harmful to humans. In this article I will be providing a full overview of tannic acid, its potential health benefits and possible health risks.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF TANNIC ACID?
There is very little information available on the discovery of tannic acid. The available information suggests it was discovered around 1830 although it is not known who made this discovery.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF TANNIC ACID?
Tannic acid has numerous health benefits in the human body. The list below details these health benefits in greater detail:
– Acting as an antibacterial (a substance that kills or slows down the growth of bacteria).
– Acting as an antimutagenic (a substance that prevents genetic mutations).
– Acting as an antioxidant (a substance which fights the damaging free radicals which are released during oxygen related reactions).
– Acting as an antitoxic (a substance that fights harmful toxins within the body).
– Acting as an astringent (a substance that causes the contraction of body tissues and is normally used on the skin cells to reduce bleeding).
– Preventing diarrhea.
In addition to the above, tannic acid may also have further health benefits. However, more research is required before they can be confirmed. The list below outlines these potential health benefits of tannic acid in greater detail:
– Possibly preventing Alzheimer’s disease (a mental disorder which leads to the loss of memory, thought and speech).
– Possibly preventing cancer.
– Possibly preventing diabetes (by reducing blood glucose levels).
– Possibly treating skin conditions (including blisters and skin rashes).
HOW MUCH TANNIC ACID DO YOU NEED?
Tannic acid is not believed to be essential in humans so no recommended daily allowance (RDA) has been established.
WHICH FOODS CONTAIN TANNIC ACID?
Tannic acid can be found in various plant based foods but the exact amounts in these foods is not known. The list below outlines some of the richest food sources of tannic acid:
– Green Tea.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CONSUMING TOO MUCH TANNIC ACID?
Tannic acid is believed to be safe when natural food sources are consumed. However, ingesting large amounts of tannic acid as a medicine or a supplement can have a number of negative side effects which include:
– Acting as a carcinogen (a substance that is capable of causing cancer).
– Damaging the kidneys.
– Damaging the liver.
– Damaging the protective lining of the stomach.
– Inhibiting digestion.
– Preventing the absorption of various nutrients (particularly iron).
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF FAILING TO CONSUME ENOUGH TANNIC ACID?
Tannic acid is not classed as an essential nutrient so there are no reported deficiency symptoms associated with its consumption.
TANNIC ACID SUMMARY
Although people’s opinions on tannic acid are heavily divided, the amounts found in foods are safe for human consumption. Tannic acid rich foods also contain high levels of other health boosting nutrients. So if you want to keep your body in tip top shape, make sure your diet contains some of these healthy, plant based foods.